On Halloween, I stayed at the house, while my husband went around the neighborhood with my daughter and some of her friends. They were the first trick-or-treaters to arrive at our house, and I could hear their excited chatter as they came up the steps. I was a little bit nervous. I wanted to greet them with the right mix of warmth, surprise, and admiration. I was also nervous about spilling the candy, taking too long to open the door, or tripping on the rug.
The doorbell rang. I opened the door, I mustered my enthusiasm and and said,
"Trick or treat!"
The children looked at me. I looked at the children. After a moment's hesitation, the children dug in to the candy bowl. As the children started to file back down the stairs, my daughter looked at me.
"Mom, you don't have to say 'treat-or-treat,'" she said coldly, without waiting for my response before leaving.
Did she understand that the aphasia that made me say the wrong thing, I wondered? Or is she already feeling that all moms are clueless, anyways?
I closed the door. Under my breath, I said: "Happy Halloween! Happy Halloween! Happy Halloween! Happy Halloween!"
3 days ago